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Britain heads towards cruel winter and hunger

London, Sadiq Khan, Londoners, Britain, Britons, Russia, Moscow, Ukraine

Opinion

Britain heads towards cruel winter and hunger

Britain is heading towards a cruel winter followed by acute food crisis. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has voiced the inevitable stating “this winter hundreds of thousands of Londoners will have no choice but to pay for food or for heating. They won’t have enough for either”. In fact, this is, as British would say – an understatement. Back in May this year, statistics appeared showing a quarter of Britons were already suffering from food scarcity resulting in being undernourished, as Newsweek said, people in Britain were skipping at least one meal a day. That was, in the spring, it was about sixteen and a half million people, including infants and the elderly were suffering either from food scarcity or economic crisis. And by now things have further deteriorated.

Due to Ukraine war and subsequent international sanction on Russia and Russians, Moscow had to suspend gas supplies to the European nations, including Britain. Now Britons are feeling horrified knowing the cost of living and community services without gas from Russia.

According to media reports, prices of essential are on skyrocketing rise, while average English household will need to pay more than 5,456 pounds a year for electricity and gas.

People say, the government is not trying to limit food prices in supermarkets, rather it is decided by the markets. With such exorbitant rise in the price of essentials and people’s income not increasing accordingly, Britons are going to be in extreme odds pretty soon.

There is a lot of talk about subsidies for community apartments, but so far nothing has been done in this regard. It seems that the authorities are promising to subsidize a few hundred pounds, but it is not clear how much would be the actual amount, because price increases are unpredictable.

It is already clear that most Britons will not be able to heat their houses and apartments this winter. The government already has suggested them to bask in libraries and museums. The problem is that libraries and museums will have bills for light and heating in the hundreds of thousands of pounds in the winter. Whether the government will pay for them is another question.

A separate crucial question is how hospitals will be heated. In many of them, even before any crisis, patients were asked to heat their bodies with warm clothes.

The mayor of London – by the way, a Pakistani by origin – speaking of thousands of Londoners, he is worried about socially unprotected people. These are pensioners, the disabled, and illegal migrants. These people are at optimum risk. Previously those people could at least sometimes spend the night in shelter-homes, getting free meals. Now the shelter homes too are facing risk of being shut-down due to huge utility bills.

In my opinion, London mayor Sadiq Khan is hiding truth from the middle class, who too would fall victims of economic crisis soon. These middle-class are not anti-social elements, instead they are millions of respectable working-class living in one of the richest and most developed countries in the world.

The most interesting part of the Western sanctions on Russia was aimed at punishing Russians. But it seems, things are becoming boomerang with sufferings actually hitting the people in the West.

Meanwhile, Russia is successfully overcoming challenges posed by the sanctions. A full-fledged de-dollarization process is going on while Moscow is developing trade with friendly countries in alternative payment method. India has already allowed accepting Russian debit and credit cards. It is buying oil from Russian through alternative currency – subsiding US dollars. It is believed that friendly nations of Russia will receive fuel and food grain at a better price, which will help them in effectively checking inflation and prices of essentials.

Sohail Choudhury is the Executive Editor of Blitz

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